EUR/USD: Focus on the US Labor Market
● The DXY dollar index is down 5% over the past month. This is the largest monthly decline since September 2010. And the American currency lost more than 10% against the euro over the same period. EUR/USD was trading at 0.9541 back on October 28, and it reached the high of 1.0544 on December 2. There are several reasons for this, and the main one, of course, lies in the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate forecasts.
The head of this organization, Jerome Powell, speaking on Wednesday, November 30, confirmed once again that the rate of rate growth in December may slow down. Market participants were finally convinced after these words that the rate would be increased not by 75 basis points (bp), but by only 50 bps in December. Thus, the futures market for the federal funds rate expects that there will be no increase at all in January, and the rate will be increased one or two times by 25 bps in February and March, as a result, its peak value will be 4.75-5.00%, and not 5.25%, as previously predicted. Then there will be a gradual decline and it will drop to 4.45% by December 2023.
● Of course, this is only a forecast, but the market reacted to it with a sharp drop in US Treasuries. Thus, 10-year securities fell in yield to 3.5%, the lowest value since September 20, and two-year securities fell to 4.23%, which put strong pressure on the dollar. Moreover, the statement by the head of the Fed was made against the background of the publication of statistical data on the US economy. And it pointed, on the one hand, to a slowdown in inflation, and on the other hand, to the fact that the country’s economy is quite successfully coping with rising interest rates and is not in danger of sliding into a deep recession. As a result, the risk appetite of the market began to grow, stock indices ( S&P500, Dow Jones and Nasdaq ) went up, pulling cryptocurrencies with them, and the dollar continued to fall.
● China also intervened in the dollar exchange rate. Vice Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China Sun Chunlang said that the omicron strain of coronavirus is becoming less pathogenic due to the increase in vaccinated people. Therefore, the strategy to combat the pandemic is entering a new stage. The authorities will even allow some infected people to spend a period of isolation at home rather than in the hospital. This shift towards less stringent anti-COVID measures also had a positive effect on investors’ appetite for investments in Asia, and the dollar received another blow, losing its attractiveness as a defensive asset.
● The Fed chief’s speech about avoiding a “collapse of the economy” suggests that the regulator wants to bring inflation down to its target level, while minimizing the rise in unemployment. Based on this, reports on the US labor market will soon be even more important than before. And this was clearly shown by the market’s reaction to the macro statistics released on Friday, December 2. The unemployment rate in the US remained at the same level and was fully in line with the forecast of 3.7%. But as for the number of new jobs created outside the agricultural sector of the country (NFP), on the one hand, it turned out to be less than the October value (284K), but higher than the forecast of 200K, and amounted to 263K. The American currency reacted to this with a sharp increase, EUR/USD dropped to 1.0427. However, then the situation calmed down, everything returned to normal, and it finished at 1.0535.
● Among the analysts surveyed, 50% of analysts expect the pair to continue growing to 1.0600, and 20% expect it to turn to the south. The remaining 30% of experts point to the east. It should be noted here that when moving to the medium-term forecast, the number of bearish supporters who expect the pair to drop below the parity level of 1.0000 increases sharply, up to 75%. The picture is different among the oscillators on D1. All 100% of the oscillators are colored green, while 25% is in the overbought zone. Among the trend indicators, the 100% advantage is on the green side.
The immediate support for EUR/USD is located on horizon 1.0500, then there are levels and zones 1.0450-1.0467, 1.0380-1.0405, 1.0280-1.0315, 1.0220-1.0255, 1.0130, 1.0070, 0.9950-1.0010, 0.9885, 0.9825, 0.9750, 0.9700, 0.964, 0.9580 and finally the Sep 28 low at 0.9535. The next target of the bears is 0.9500. Bulls will meet resistance at levels 1.0545, 1.0620, 1.0750, 1.0865, 1.0935.
● We are in for quite a lot of macro-economic statistics this week. There will be data on retail sales in the Eurozone and ISM business activity in the US services sector on Monday, December 05. Data on Eurozone GDP in Q3 will be released on Wednesday, December 07. The number of applications for unemployment benefits will become known the next day, December 08, and the US Producer Price Index (PPI) – on December 09. In addition, market participants will be waiting for the speeches by the head of the ECB Christine Lagarde, which are scheduled for December 05 and 08.
GBP/USD: If the Dollar Falls, the Pound Rises
● Business activity in the manufacturing sector of the UK increased slightly in November compared to September: the PMI rose from 46.2 to 46.5 points (against the forecast of 46.2). However, this did not have any noticeable effect on the quotes of GBP/USD: it moved almost in unison with EUR/USD, reacting to events in the US. The week resulted in the continuation of its growth from 1.2153 to 1.2310, the highest value since early August. The last chord of the week sounded a bit lower, at 1.2280.
● Thus, the dollar weakened by about 1.2% against the pound over the week. And now GBP/USD is only a short distance away from the important level of 1.2450, which is the lower limit of the multi-year range from which it left at the beginning of this year. According to the strategists of the French financial conglomerate Societe Generale, this is where a strong resistance zone is located. “A retreat from this barrier could lead to a pullback phase,” they write. “The October high at 1.1500, which is also a 50DMA, is expected to be the first level of support if the decline continues.” If the pair fixes above 1.2450, Societe Generale predicts that the upward movement may last to 1.2750 and even higher, to the 1.3250-1.3300 zone.
● Of course, as we have repeatedly written, the actions of the Central Banks of the leading countries and how quickly and how much they will raise key interest rates in a recession will be decisive for exchange rates. It is possible that the growth of inflationary pressure in the UK may cause a more active rate hike by the Bank of England (BoE). However, according to many economists, the regulator is likely to avoid drastic steps since excessive tightening of monetary policy could knock out the UK economy for a long time. Recall that the main events of the end of this year are expected on December 14 and 15, when the Fed, ECB and BoE meetings will be held almost at the same time.
● The median forecast so far is similar to that for EUR/USD: 50% of experts are bullish, 30% are bearish, and the remaining 20% remain neutral. At the same time, when moving to a medium-term forecast, the number of bear supporters increases to 80%. Among the trend indicators and oscillators on D1, 100% side with the greens, however, among the latter, 15% of them give signals that the pair is overbought. Support levels and zones for the pair are 1.2210, 1.2145, 1.2085, 1.2030, 1.1960, 1.1900, 1.1800-1.1840, 1.1700-1.1720, 1.1600, 1.1475-1.1500, 1.1350, 1.1230, 1.1150, 1.1100. When the pair moves north, it will meet resistance at the levels of 1.2290-1.2310, 1.2425-1.2450 and 1.2575-1.2610, 1.2750.
● Among the events concerning the UK economy, Monday 05 December will attract attention this week, when the November Composite Business Activity Index (PMI) and the UK Services PMI will be released. The change in the same indicator in the country’s construction sector will be published the next day, on Wednesday, December 06.
USD/JPY: The Yen Thanks the Fed Once Again
● The main trading range for USD/JPY for the last three weeks has been 137.50-140.60. It tried to move to a higher echelon on November 21, however, the published minutes of the Fed’s last FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) meeting returned it to the set limits. As an analyst wrote at the time, “the whole world (except the US) thanks the Fed for the minutes of its meeting, which strengthened the dovish reversal, bringing down the dollar and US bond yields.”
● Last week, the world thanked once again the Fed represented by its head, Jerome Powell whose speech knocked over the dollar on Wednesday, November 30 and the yield on US securities is even lower. USD/JPY broke through the lower border of the channel after the speech of this important official and rushed down, finding the local bottom at the level of 133.61.
The American currency could get a chance to win back losses as a result of the release of the official report on employment in the US on Friday, December 02. As mentioned above, the NFP value of 263K was higher than the 200K forecast, and USD/JPY jumped more than 230 pips to 135.98. However, then the market realized that unemployment remained at the same level, and these 263 thousand new jobs are the lowest since April 2021. The pair turned south again and finished at 134.33.
● Recall that 10-year US Treasuries fell to 3.5% after Jerome Powell’s “epic” speech, the lowest level since September 20. And according to the forecasts of ING strategists, the largest banking group in the Netherlands, if their yield ends 2023 at about 2.75%, USD/JPY may end up in the 125.00-130.00 zone at that moment, that is, where it was traded in May-August 2022.
In the meantime, the forecast for the near future looks rather vague. 45% of analysts vote for the bearish scenario, 35% for the bullish one, and 20% prefer to remain silent. Although, in this case, most experts (70%) expect a serious strengthening of the dollar in the medium term. For oscillators on D1, the picture looks like this: 100% are facing south, 25% of them are in the oversold zone. Among the trend indicators, the ratio is 100:0 in favor of the red ones.
The nearest support level is located at 133.60 zone, followed by levels and zones 131.25-131.70, 129.60-130.00, 128.10-128.25, 126.35 and 125.00. Levels and zones of resistance are 135.20, 136.00, 136.65, 137.50-137.70, 138.00-138.30, 139.85, 140.60, 142.25, 143.75, 145.30, 146.85-147.00, 148.45, 149.45, 150.00 and 151.55. The purpose of the bulls is to rise and gain a foothold above the height of 152.00. Then there are the 1990 highs around 158.00.
● Thursday, December 08 can be marked in the macroeconomic calendar, when the data on Japan’s GDP for Q3 will be released. According to forecasts, this indicator will remain at the same negative level: a drop of 0.3%, which will serve as another argument in favor of the super-soft monetary policy of the Bank of Japan (BoJ). The next meeting of this Central Bank is scheduled for December 20, and it is likely to leave the interest rate on the yen unchanged at minus 0.1%.
CRYPTOCURRENCIES: Cryptogeddon Instead of Crypto Winter
● If the most frightening word for investors was “crypto winter” earlier, a new, much more terrible term has appeared in the current situation: “cryptogeddon” (similar to Armageddon, the place of the last and decisive battle between the forces of good and the forces of evil).
Everyone will probably agree that the outgoing year was terrible for the entire crypto industry. Macroeconomic events in early 2022, the collapse of Terra, which not only buried two cryptocurrencies from the TOP-10, but also caused a domino effect that destroyed many industry participants. A new shock in November, when one of the market giants, the FTX crypto exchange and related companies, collapsed. There are now rumors that cast doubt on the fortunes of the Digital Currency Group and its subsidiaries, two of which are Genesis and Grayscale.
The next victim of “cryptogeddon” was the BlockFi platform. It filed for bankruptcy last Monday. Creditors that will suffer the most from this will include Ankura Trust Company ($729 million), West Realm Shires Inc ($275 million), and even the SEC itself, the great and all-powerful US Securities and Exchange Commission ($30 million).
Miners are in huge trouble as the cost of mining bitcoin has fallen deep below the market price. Thus, according to MacroMicro estimates, it was $19,400 on November 29 at the price of $16.500 per BTC. This situation led to the fact that the losses of such an industry leader as Core Scientific Inc reached $1.7 billion, and it was also on the verge of bankruptcy.
(By the way, on December 6, Bitcoin will face the largest reduction in computation complexity this year. It takes more than 10 minutes now to find a block, and the expected correction will be from 6% to 9%).
● Despite all the losses, the industry continues to hope for the best. The main forecasts are divided into 1) BTC/USD will fall again, but then it will turn up, and 2) the pair has already found the bottom and there is only a bright future ahead. Let’s start with the first scenario.
So, Mark Mobius, co-founder of Mobius Capital Partners LLP investment company, shared his prediction that bitcoin will continue to fall, and its immediate goal is $10,000. This target is in line with options data from Deribit, which shows a large number of outstanding bitcoin put contracts, so called open interest, with an exercise price of $10,000 at the end of December.
● Crypto analyst Benjamin Cowen is waiting for the bull market to start soon. But this will happen, in his opinion, after a noticeable fall and reaching a real bottom. We are following a simple signal: the intersection of the 200-day moving average and the bitcoin price chart,” the analyst advises. According to him, such an intersection will take place on December 25-27. It is then that we can expect the price to reach the bottom and the transition of BTC/USDto a steady growth. According to the expert’s forecast, the bottom has not yet been reached so far. In addition to not crossing the BTC price with the 200-day SMA, Cowen also refers to the Puell Multiple indicator. The metric value at the minimum was about 0.3 in previous cycles. The indicator has so far dropped only to 0.375 this year.
Cowen pointed to the duration of bearish markets, which has historically been about a year, as an additional argument for the future turn. The 2014 cycle lasted 14 months, and the 2018 cycle lasted 12 months.
● Renowned crypto trader Ton Vays has described how bulls can end a year-long bearish market. According to him, they should push the price of the main cryptocurrency to the November high, and this will start an upward rally. “I want to see a move to $23,000. If there’s a rebound, we’ll need to hold on to $19,000 and then come back for a further $23,000. This is 95% to 98% likely to show that a bull market has begun,” he writes.
However, the crypto trader who predicted the collapse of bitcoin in 2018 accurately does not rule out either that bitcoin will soon face a new sale. “Another scenario is we will fall to $11,000. I believe the bull market will start right after that because I just don’t believe bitcoin could fall even lower.” In any case, under any of these scenarios, Vays expects bitcoin to reach $23,000 later this year or early 2023.
● The second scenario, the beginning of a bearish trend, is hinted at by IntoTheBlock data. Analysts of this company note that bitcoin is currently experiencing a sharp backwardance: a situation where BTC futures are priced much lower compared to the current price of the asset in the regular (spot) market. This suggests that the market is under strong pressure from sellers. Traders are actively opening short positions, hoping that the price of bitcoin will continue to go down.
At the same time, IntoTheBlock points out that the times when futures contracts are backward tend to coincide with market lows, as was the case in March 2020 and May 2021. And it can also be a signal that the cryptocurrency has found a bottom now.
● This version is supported by small (up to 10 BTC) retail investors. According to a report from analytics platform Glassnode, they are becoming increasingly optimistic about bitcoin and have accumulated a record number of coins despite the FTX crash and the ongoing crisis.
Since the FTX crash in early November, shrimp investors (less than 1 BTC) have reportedly added 96,200 coins worth $1.6 billion to their portfolios, a “record high balance increase.” And now they own 1.21 million BTC in total, which is equivalent to 6.3% of the current turnover of 19.2 million coins. Meanwhile, “crabs” (up to 10 BTC) have bought about 191,600 coins worth about $3.1 billion over the past 30 days, which is also a “convincing all-time high.”
While crabs and shrimps were accumulating a record number of bitcoins, large investors were selling them. According to Glassnode, bitcoin whales have released about 6,500 BTC ($107 million) to exchanges over the past month. However, this is a very small fraction of their total holdings of 6.3 million BTC ($104 billion), which suggests that the whales remain somewhat optimistic as well.
● Many influencers are also optimistic about the future. Tom Lee, head of research at Fundstrat Global Advisors and well-known analyst, said that the tragic events of 2022 mentioned above are a “cleansing” moment for the industry, the next year should be better than this one, and bitcoin can still serve as an investment tool.
Michael Novogratz, CEO of the crypto investment company Galaxy Digital, also thinks that digital assets will not leave the market, even though the industry is experiencing a crisis of confidence. “There are 150 million people who have chosen to store part of their wealth in bitcoin. […] Therefore, bitcoin, ethereum will not disappear. Other cryptocurrencies will not either,” he said.
Novogratz expects the recovery of the crypto industry and its slow growth. “You will see how people like ARK Invest CEO Cathy Wood will soon enter the crypto market and invest. I don’t think this will be a quick recovery. It will most likely take a long time. It will not be easy to restore trust,” the businessman said. Cathy Wood herself, according to Yahoo, answered “yes” when asked whether she still sticks to her forecast of the BTC price of $1 million by 2030.
● In the meantime, at the time of writing this review (Friday evening, December 02), BTC/USD is trading well below the coveted $1 million, in the $17,040 zone. Its correlation with stock market indices (S&P500, Dow Jones and Nasdaq) has almost recovered. The Crypto Fear & Greed Index rose from 20 to 27 points in seven days and finally got out of the Extreme Fear zone into the Fear zone. The total capitalization of the crypto market has also grown slightly and stands at $0.859 trillion ($0.833 trillion a week ago).
NordFX Analytical Group
Notice: These materials are not investment recommendations or guidelines for working in financial markets and are intended for informational purposes only. Trading in financial markets is risky and can result in a complete loss of deposited funds.
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